Sports Nutrition

Serious basketball coaches are always looking for ways to get an edge on the competition – to gain an advantage. It’s why you spend so much time researching methods of training that will make your players faster and stronger – and jump higher – without taking up too much time to get results.

That’s why I believe that running hill sprints (which includes running bleachers and stairs) is a must for any basketball player.

This is because hill sprints provide a number of benefits to the basketball athlete. Here are the Top 6:

1. Hill sprints provide the perfect combination of strength and speed training.

It’s like lifting weights and sprinting at the same time. The hill gives resistance to your athlete’s sprints, making them more difficult while being shorter in distance and duration. Including hill sprints in your training program can bring great results in as little as 15 minutes 1 or 2 times per week.

2. Hill sprints build stamina.

Endurance is something that every basketball player needs – but it is a special kind of endurance. If you want your athletes to perform at their peak, then low, slow distance types of cardio just won’t work. Their endurance training needs to mimic the demands of the game. Those needs being – short bouts of intense exertion broken up by periods of lower intensities.

Hill sprints provide just this type of interval training. They will take your players’ hearts and lungs to intensities far greater than those found in jogging or traditional types of endurance training. Their body will become used to reaching these higher levels, and recovering quickly in between the “sprints.”

More and more scientific studies are showing that VO2 Max (the traditional measure of aerobic endurance) is improved as much – or more- by using high intensity interval-type exercise like hill sprinting.

Want your team to have their “wind” at the end of the game? Hill sprint.

3. Hill sprints increase ankle strength – helping to prevent one of the most common injuries in sports – the ankle sprain.

Ankles are made stronger due to the need to push off harder when sprinting up the hill. Because of the incline, more drive is needed than when sprinting on a flat surface. Improved ankle strength also leads to the ability to push off harder during the game – benefiting a player’s important “first step” and lengthening their stride when sprinting in a breakaway on the court.

4. Hill sprints increase basketball players’ speed and explosiveness.

This is because hill training promotes two key factors in running faster and jumping higher. First, it forces proper knee lift – essential for driving the legs downward and back for more force. Second, hill sprinting makes the sprinter dorsi-flex their foot while running. The closer the toes are brought to the shin, the more force they can apply on ground contact. Think of dorsi-flexing as loading your foot – then unloading it into the ground – pushing you forward.

Explosiveness is also shown in the way hill sprints can increase your players’ vertical jumps – a key measure of power. Jumping is really the same as sprinting – pushing your body forward (or up) against gravity. The more power you can generate from your legs when pushing, the farther or higher you will go.

5. Hill sprints provide a way to safely train your athletes.

In addition to protecting your ankles, hill sprinting protects your athletes’ from other types of injuries as well. The last thing you want to do is to injure your athletes while conditioning.

Hill sprinting provides safety in two ways: One, the slightly shorter stride length while running a hill sprint is a great way to protect hamstrings. Most hamstring pulls and strains result from over-extension – something which rarely occurs when sprinting hills.

Second, hill sprints can decrease the pounding on your players’ legs. Studies have shown that even a slight grade added to sprints can decrease the impact on the runner’s legs by as much as 25%. Shin splints, foot problems and sore knees can be greatly reduced by getting on the hills for your sprints.

6. Hill sprints as mental training

Besides all of the physical benefits of hill sprinting, they also promote mental toughness and goal-setting behavior in your athletes. Looking up at the hill can be daunting when your players are fatigued and nearing the end of their sprint session. By using the hill as a metaphor, you can show them the importance of having a goal (the top of the hill), taking the steps necessary to reach it (one step at a time up the hill), and celebrating their success when they reach their goal (their very own Rocky imitation at the top of the hill). Looking back down the hill after their workout, your athletes can feel the satisfaction of accomplishing something that may have seemed an impossible obstacle.

With all of these benefits for your basketball team, adding hill sprints to your training program should go to the top of your To Do List. It’s no coincidence that we found out that this year’s NCAA player of the year Kevin Durant made hill sprints a key part of his training. You can develop your own “special” players the same way.

Make your athletes stronger, faster, better conditioned, injury resistant and mentally tough with this “old school” training. You, your team and your fans will be glad you did.

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Should You Get A Static Dance Pole Or A Spinning Dance Pole?

Static dance pole or spinning dance pole? Even if you're only a beginner pole dancer and have barely scratched the surface of looking into a buying pole for pole dancing, you've probably heard these terms but may not know exactly what they mean. We're going to take the mystery out of the decision-making process and explore the differences between static dance poles and spinning dance poles to help you figure what the best type for your needs.

What is a static pole?

Static poles are what the majority of pole dancers learn on. Simply put, static poles do not move as you dance. This makes it much easier to actually learn the technique properly.

Everyone should learn the basics on a static pole before they move up to a spinning one.

Why?

Because it requires much less muscle strength and control to dance on a static pole than on a spinning one. There's no need to give yourself a much higher learning curve than you need to, especially in the beginning.

These type of poles are cheaper than their spinning counterparts, but keep in mind that they can not be upgraded to spin later on.

What is a spinning pole?

Unlike stats, spinning poles are constructed to spin with the force of your body's moment. This means when you started to dance or spin, the pole will spin with you.

In general, your spins will require less force to be executed beautifully because you will have this added help. Of course, dancing like this requires more coordination, and at the very least, you'll have to learn how to keep dizziness under control.

The difficulty level and challenge is high, but after you master this method, the sheer exhilaration of feeling like you're flying can be a wonderful feeling for some.

All spinning poles have a mechanism that can make them static, so if you purchase one, you will have the option of either spinning or static.

What should you choose?

  • If you intend on making pole dancing a long-term serious endeavor, then it might suit you to purchase a spinning dance pole.
  • If you do not intend on seriously pursuing the sport or the thought of spinning around at dizzying speeds makes you sick just imagining it, feel free to save your money and stick to a static dance pole.
  • And of course, if you're indecisive or like to keep your options option, go for a spinning pole because it can always be converted to a static one.

Do you believe in the saying that wealth is health? It may seem funny to ask such an obvious question. You may think it is clear and straight forward for everybody to know that a healthy person is a wealthy person. The next question to ask yourself is if that were to be true why do some people live their lives daily in such a way that is injurious to their health. You could see this happen when people take all sorts of foods and substances that are potentially dangerous to their health without any precaution. However, for those who believe that health is wealth and wish to live by practicing what they profess, it is important to watch actually what goes into your body. One challenge a lot of persons face in their adult lives is how to stay trim and smart. The natural tendency is for the body to accumulate fat as you grow older. Allowing fat to build up in your body is not the way to go. One way to live a healthy and wealthy life and not struggling like others to keep unwanted fat at bay is to eat fat burning foods consistently. Examples of such foods are given below with their usefulness mentioned.

1. Garlic

Garlic is a wonderful plant that is very useful to man. One of the benefits of garlic is its ability to burn unwanted fat. Allicin, a compound found in garlic is known to possess the fat burning qualities that make your body to knock off fat.

2. Turmeric

This is an orange root that is known to have very good qualities to roll back fat. It is a culinary spice that is found useful in different cultures across the globe. Apart from being a good fat burner, it is also good at prevention of diseases. Turmeric is believed to derive its potency from an active ingredient called curcumin. Being a good anti-inflammatory agent makes turmeric very useful for persons who are into one weight loss program or another.

3. Ginger

It has been discovered that adding a reasonable quantity of ginger to daily feeds of pigs help them to look leaner. Pigs which were not fed with this daily ration of ginger grew up normally with their usual plenty of body fat. Ginger is known to cause an increase in metabolism which in turn helps to burn fat. It also helps you to feel fuller and reduces the urge to over eat. Ginger has anti inflammatory properties that help the body to enjoy constant flow of blood.

4. Walnuts

A study which was conducted for obese persons discovered that those who included walnut as part of their daily meals lost significant portion of their body weight after six months. Walnut has a property in it that makes you feel less hungry thereby improving your weight loss drive.

5. Lemons

It is interesting to know that lemons help in weight reduction. It is equally important to note that the property for losing weight which lemon possesses comes mainly from the peel and not the juice. The property called polyphenol in lemon is mostly located in the peel. One way to get the best out of the lemon is to cut it into pieces and soak in warm water for some time before consumption. This helps to recover a good portion of the polyphenol trapped in the peel.

6. Avocado

The avocado is a wonderful gift from nature that can help weight watchers lose significant amount of weight if consumed in the right portions daily. It has been discovered that daily consumption of avocado lowers the risk of heart attack. Researchers have linked the ability of avocado to reduce the level of cholesterol in the body to its monounsaturated fat. Also, it has been discovered by researchers that making use of avocado oil in cooking helps in the reduction of abdominal fat.

7. Banana

Banana is not seen by many persons as a fat burner; however, the truth is that it has been discovered to contain resistant starch. This resistant starch is acted upon by some useful bacteria to convert it to fatty acids. The fatty acid helps in fat metabolism thereby preventing accumulation of fat in the body and leading to obesity.

Eating fat burning foods is one way you can stay healthy. Keep in mind also that eating healthy diet keeps you away from the doctor. Looking healthy and fit is not something that should cost you an arm and a leg to accomplish. All you need is to know the right foods to eat and to remain consistent.

To become a good badminton player, beside Physical Skill, you also must have a Mental Strength. Mental Strength is very crucial especially when come to the tournament. Besides these, Sport Nutrition is also important especially for the player preparing for the tournament.

1. Physical Skill:

Let’s start with the most fundamental of badminton skill, ie: Strokes, Steps/Footwork, Stamina, and Strategy.

Strokes:

The basic technique of badminton strokes includes Overheads forehand and backhand clear / smash / drop, drives, lifts, net shot. You are higher recommended to learn from the badminton demo video(see link at the bottom of this page). With the video, it will save you a lot of time learning all the basic strokes.

After you have learn the basic strokes, the next step you have to do is practice and practise. Without the ability to execute all the different strokes, one will not be a complete badminton player.

Steps/Footwork:

Steps/Footwork is always comes together with stroke. A good badminton must have a good coordination of footwork and strokes. This includes foot, body, arms, swing coordination.

Stamina:

A badminton can last anything from 15 minutes to 1 hour plus and there can be more than one game within a day. A completed badminton match is best of 3 games, that means you got to play at least 2 games continuously. Without good stamina, a badminton player will be unable to successfully execute his/her desired strokes or even cannot finish the game. Again, stamina need to be build over the time via regular training, workouts or exercises. Regular workout will also help to improve your game by increasing your arm strength.

Strategy:

With good badminton skill and stamina is not enough, you must also have a good strategy to win a game. you have to make the correct shot at the correct time, either a drop-shot, smash, or clear? This is also important to identify the weakest point of opponent. This is especially crucial for doubles game, you should identify your opponent weakness and attack the opponent who is weaker. This is the most simple strategy. If your opponent is weak on his/her backhand clear, then you should hit the shuttle towards his/her backhand more. To go one level higher, it is also important to make the correct choice for a series of return and to lay out a game plan for whole match. This is so called the strategy of a badminton game.

2. Mental Strength:

Besides physical skill, a good badminton player must have good mental strength as well. Mental strength is the ability to make the correct decision even when under pressure or at the crucial moment. For example, when one is down to 5-19, or reaching the match point, 20-20. The player must stay focus to the game regardless whether he/she is leaving behind, leading, or under huge pressure due to the internal or external factor (eg: audience). A good badminton player must also be able to change strategy during the game on different situation. A good badminton player will not go down without a fight and should be able to keep his pace and the accuracy of his shots until the very last point in the game. A good example would be the game in between Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan during the Malaysia Open 2006. Lin Dan was already leading 20-13 in the rubber game and this was a really difficult situation for Lee Chong Wei, But he handled the pressure well and showed a great fighting spirit, slowly clawing back in to the game. And Finally, he won the game by 23-21.

You also have to keep yourself calm in the court and with high EQ. Many incidents, good or bad, can happen during a match either outside or inside the court. For example, bad line calls, umpires decisions or insulted by the audience or even opponent coach. See The Athlete’s Mind Guide(refer link below this page) .

3. Sport Nutrition

Beside physical skill and mental strength, Sport Nutrition (refer link at the bottom of this page) is also important especially for the player preparing for the tournament. On a day-to-day basis, you have to take care of your nutrition by consuming a well balanced diet comprising carbohydrate, fat, protein, electrolytes, vitamins, minerals and water. A Nutritionist can extend help in achieving this. Water should be consumed in just adequate amounts before, during and after play, ideally at the amounts required to quench the player’s thirst.

Sarah, one of the runners that I coach, had been suffering from ITB (iliotibial band) pain, which was preventing her from doing any running. To alleviate the pain, she had purchased an over the counter knee strap to be worn while running. In addition, her physical therapist had prescribed a heel lift to correct a minor leg length discrepancy. Her ITB symptoms decreased in severity, but two weeks later, she began experiencing knee pain in the same leg. Understandably frustrated, she asked me if I thought that her new knee pain was somehow related to her ITB treatment.

To quote the old gospel song, “Dry Bones”:Skeleton Leg

Your foot bone connected to your ankle bone Your ankle bone connected to your leg bone Your leg bone connected to your knee bone Your knee bone connected to your thigh bone……..

Those in the health and fitness profession may prefer to state the same sentiment by describing the body as a kinetic chain. Modifying one link of the kinetic chain (i.e. body part) will have ramifications on other related parts of the body. In Sarah’s situation, the knee strap and heel lift alleviated her ITB pain symptoms but appeared to have caused her new knee pain. Most importantly, the knee strap and heel lift did not address the cause of her ITB pain, which is poor running-specific strength.

Cause of ITB Pain

Owen Anderson, Ph.D., is a leading exercise physiologist and researcher in training, sports nutrition and injury prevention. He states: “The ITB works eccentrically (attempts to contract while increasing in length) to prevent the thigh from moving inward when the foot is on the ground during the stance phase of gait. When it does so, the ITB is stretched out, because some adduction (inward movement of the thigh) must inevitably occur. The ITB is also active, because it must try to limit adduction. And so the action is eccentric – the poor ITB is trying to contract but is stretched out nonetheless.

What about the connection between that rubbing action of the ITB on the femoral projection and this eccentric activity? If the ITB is weak, it permits greater adduction (inward movement of the thigh) during stance. That stretches the ITB, puts it under greater tension, and presses it down on the femoral projection.” (The bracketed sections are my explanatory notes — don’t worry if the above explanation is not crystal clear). In summary,

Weakness of the ITB is the main cause of ITB Syndrome (ITBS)

Why Conventional Treatment Does Not Work

Conventional treatment of ITBS consists of stretching exercises and performing hip abduction strengthening exercises, either on a hip machine or lying prone and using ankle weights. I know from first-hand experience that neither is effective in eliminating ITB pain. I suffered through four years of ITBS before I started performing ITB strengthening exercises for eccentric movement (i.e. exercises that were running-specific).

Dr. Anderson: “What we have learned from a couple of decades of scientific research is that strengthening exercises must be specific to a particular movement, in terms of muscle-activation pattern, neural control, joint range of motion, and velocity, in order for that movement to be actually fortified. As many experts have pointed out, the desired goal is to strengthen movements, not individual muscles.”

Effective Treatment of ITBS

So, what exercise can you perform to develop running-specific ITB strength and thus eliminate or prevent ITBS? The “Frankenstein Marching with a Band” exercise, developed Karen Ward, an excellent and creative personal trainer in Atlanta. What equipment is required? Only a stretch band.

In any type of strength training for soccer players, building a solid foundation from the ground up is imperative. Exercises that have a player sitting on a seat and extending their leg or lying on their stomach and curling their hamstrings are with out both functional and preventative value.

Unfortunately there are still misinformed coaches giving the wrong information about soccer fitness and building leg strength. In particular the leg extension exercise is given to improve kicking strength.

Here are three reasons why leg extensions and hamstring curls are poor choices for building leg strength.

1) The game of soccer is mostly played on one leg while either foot is in contact with the ground. Neither the leg extension or hamstring exercise provides this opportunity. When in a game does a soccer player lie on the ground and bring his/ her buttocks to the ground or sit on the turf and straighten his /her leg? These exercises isolate either the quadriceps muscle group or the hamstring muscle group and places unwanted tension at the hip.

2) Sitting or lying on either of these machines minimizes avoids the integration of the deep abdominal core muscles as well as the buttock muscles. As you know a strong “core” and strong buttocks leads to strength and power in the lower body.

3) The ligaments that support the knee either get stressed inappropriately (too much stress on the ACL) or not at all. Remember these exercises were designed for body builders to isolate these muscles. These guys and girls do a lot of posing and do not have to stop, start and change direction.

Here are three exercises to build leg strength to run faster and kick harder:

1) Any form of the single leg squat. This exercise may be done several different ways. You may squat with the air borne leg either in front or behind you.

2) Moving kicking action with resistance. Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place a band above or below the knee of the kicking leg. Make sure the band is anchored behind you. Now take one step forward with the plant leg then follow through with the in a kicking motion with the other leg. This exercise stresses both the kicking leg for resistance and the plant leg for single leg strength and balance.

This type of exercise closely relates to the kicking action in a soccer game.

3) Stability Ball Curl. Lie on your back and place your heels on the stability ball. Raise your hip in the air then curl the ball towards you and away from you. Keep your buttocks tight. This combines the stomach core muscles and the buttocks muscles along with your hamstring muscles.

Keep in mind a couple of things about these exercises;

A) They include the both the abdominal and buttock muscles.

B) The actions closely relate to the movements in a soccer game.

C) They protect the knee joint.

So there you have it. Be well informed before you start building leg strength for your soccer fitness.

Food poisoning occurs when a person takes in food contaminated simply by bacteria, parasites or even virus. It may also happen whenever one eats meals that are not really ready, prepared or foods that are usually not properly handled during the process of preparing them.

Symptoms of food poisoning

After a person consumes poisoned foods, they start displaying several symptoms. Depending on what kind of poison they have consumed, this may occur immediately or within a couple of hours right after consuming the food. The observable symptoms consist of:

– Vomiting
– Diarrhea
– Belly ache
– Suffering from fever
– Exhaustion

The particular older people, children, men and women along with immune system problems and pregnant females are usually more likely to display strong signs and symptoms associated with toxic foods.

Essential Poisoning Associated with Food

Sometimes food poisoning is not necessarily dangerous and may end in a brief period of time. However, every time an individual encounters the following indications and symptoms, the person should get medical attention as quickly as possible:

– High level of dizziness
– Increased breathing rate or heartbeat
– Disorientation
– Visual disruptions
– Experiencing difficulty to speak
– Paralyzed muscle tissues

These symptoms show that the person is suffering from extreme food poisoning and must be treated within the shortest period of time, otherwise the condition can be worsened and even trigger loss of life.

Remedies to Diseased Foods

It is important know how to manage the condition connected with food poisoning. Some remedies to food poisoning are given below:

– Let him / her relax. Eating diseased food can cause weakness, therefore it's essential for the particular person to be able to have enough rest.
– Lime Juice. Lime juice kills bacterias associated with food poisoning.
– Bananas. Provide the individual bananas as their particular potassium energy assists within recuperating. However, the person is not supposed to have more than 2 bananas particularly if the person is having diarrhea.
– Ginger juice. Mix it with a tablespoon of honey; It will assist treating gastrointestinal system difficulties.
– Try getting water, coconut water, or even Gatorade in a lot but in small sips to prevent dehydration.

Prevent getting any medication without doctor's authorization.

Summary

Meals contaminated with poison may cost us our health, even lead to death. We need to be careful each and every time when we eat or drink. Always take foods that are usually purified. Avoid consuming foods from roadside. This is our duty to keep your body fit and prevent any toxic food issues.

It is important to eat safe foods. Always make sure that the food items are very well prepared. Ensure that good hygiene is maintained while preparing the food so your health is safe.

The nutritional plan that a wrestler follows can be a factor in his performance. Different foods supply different nutrients to our bodies. Although food is the most important element in your nutritional plan, supplements can also be a beneficial addition. Some wrestlers desire to lose weight. Some wrestlers do not need to lose weight. Regardless of whether or not a wrestler needs to lose weight, all wrestlers want to be strong and have sufficient energy.

Protein (4 calories per gram)

The body uses protein to perform many functions. I believe most of you know that one of protein’s main functions is building and repairing body tissues (e.g. muscle tissue). Proteins are composed of amino acids. Essential amino acids are amino acids that the body cannot make and must be provided by one’s diet. A complete protein supplies all of the essential amino acids. Most complete proteins come from animal sources. We are talking about meat, fish, fowl, milk, cheese, and eggs. Why is protein important for a wrestler? Wrestling is strenuous and can be catabolic (i.e. break down muscle tissue).

How much protein do you need? Some studies have suggested that athletes require more protein than a sedentary person does. Your diet should get about 25% of its calories from protein.

Good Sources of Protein:

  • lean beef
  • boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • lean pork
  • fish without breading
  • turkey
  • milk
  • yogurt
  • cheese
  • cottage cheese
  • eggs

An Interesting Fact about Cottage Cheese:

Cottage cheese contains a large amount of the milk protein called casein. In fact, cottage cheese is almost 100% unadulterated casein. Casein digests slowly in the body. Casein supplies a slow trickle of amino acids after being ingested. Therefore, if you eat some cottage cheese before bed you can receive a slow trickle of amino acids (i.e. protein) into your body throughout the night that could be anti-catabolic (i.e. prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue) while muscle tissue is being repaired during sleep.

Regarding Eggs:

Eggs have a Biological Value (BV) of 100. Our bodies utilize the protein contained in eggs very well. Even egg whites have a BV of 88. I don’t recommend eating only egg whites even if they are lower in fat and calories. I think nature made eggs to be eaten with the yolk and white as a package. A large whole egg contains about six grams of protein. Eggs are nutrient dense. If you’re concerned about calories, you can poach eggs or fry them in a non-stick pan. There are liquid egg white products if you prefer. Remember that it’s probably not a good idea to eat raw eggs like Rocky Balboa.

Regarding Beans:

Beans are interesting because they can be a good source of protein and carbohydrates. Beans also supply fiber that can help you feel full if you are trying to diet. Beans and rice are a popular combination for supplying a meal that includes all or close to all of the essential amino acids. Some experts consider the combination of beans and rice to be a complete protein.

A guy named Tim Ferriss advocates something he calls a “slow-carb” diet for weight loss. Beans and legumes are an important part of this diet plan. For example, one meal might consist of beef, pinto beans, and mixed vegetables. Another meal might consist of eggs, black beans, and mixed vegetables. The diet doesn’t include carbohydrates like breads, cereals, and fruits so it’s not really a good diet for a wrestler. I just thought it was interesting as a weight loss option and because of its reliance on beans and legumes.

Carbohydrates (4 calories per gram)

Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of fuel. In other words, carbohydrates provide you with energy. Wrestling practice and competition obviously require a lot of energy. Therefore, make sure to include plenty of carbohydrates in your diet. Carbohydrates get broken down into glucose and other sugars. Glucose is your brain’s preferred fuel source. Much of this glucose gets stored in your muscles in the form of glycogen. Glycogen is then used as a source of energy. Your diet should derive about 60% of its calories from carbohydrates. There are complex carbohydrates like breads and cereals and simple carbohydrates like fruit. Educate yourself.

Good Sources of Carbohydrates:

  • breads
  • bagels
  • muffins
  • pancakes
  • cereals
  • rice
  • pasta
  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • fruits
  • vegetables

When I wrestled in high school, I ate a lot of carbohydrates. For instance, I actually ate a lot of rice cakes. I figured I could eat five rice cakes for about the same number of calories in one can of soda. I know you probably think they taste like Styrofoam but I became used to them. I also ate many potatoes without butter, salt, or any other condiments. I ate many bowls of plain oatmeal. I became accustomed to eating a simple diet. Of course, I still had a Pop-Tart or candy bar occasionally.

In Regards to Fruits and Vegetables:

Why eat a candy bar when you could eat two large apples for about the same number of calories? That was my thinking back in high school when I was dieting for wrestling. Fruits and vegetables are often fat free, low in calories, high in water content, high in fiber, and rich in nutrients like antioxidants. I ate many servings of green beans back then. I had an apple or two almost every day. I could eat a large amount of food for a small amount of calories.

Fat (9 calories per gram)

Fats provide twice the number of calories per gram as proteins and carbohydrates. Therefore, you don’t want to consume too much fat. However, you should not eliminate fat entirely from your diet. Your diet should derive about 15% of it’s calories from fats. Fats do many important things in our bodies. Fats build healthy cell membranes. Fats help to make hormones like testosterone. Your brain is approximately sixty percent fat. Some fats can help make your skin smooth and healthy. Moreover, fat cushions your body organs.

You’ve probably heard about the many types of fats such as saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, hydrogenated, and trans fats. Dr. Eric Serrano believes that saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats are all important. However, he recommends avoiding hydrogenated fats altogether. You may want to research fats and essential fatty acids. You may also want to perform an online search for Dr. Eric Serrano, Udo Erasmus, Dr. Bill Sears, and Dr. Joseph Mercola in regards to healthy fats.

Some Good Sources of Fat to Consider:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • flax oil
  • fish oil
  • cod liver oil
  • peanut butter
  • nuts
  • virgin coconut oil
  • avocados

Don’t be afraid to eat whole eggs, lean red meat, salmon, tuna, and even a bit of butter occasionally. Coconut oil is a saturated fat. However, if you do some research regarding virgin coconut oil you will find out it that it has many potential health benefits. In addition, remember to limit or avoid hydrogenated fats and trans fats.

I was advised at a wrestling camp to try to eat a diet of about 80% healthy food and 20% unhealthy food during wrestling season. I guess they figured nobody could eat healthy 100% of the time. That may be sound advice.

In the book Blood in the Cage, author L. Jon Wertheim writes about Pat Miletich, a former wrestler and former UFC champion. Pat and most of his fighters follow something called Miletich’s “fighter’s diet” when a competition is drawing near. This diet consists mainly of oatmeal, eggs, and skinless, boneless chicken.

Fast Food Tips:

  • Have water or milk instead of pop
  • Have grilled chicken in sandwiches and soft shell tacos
  • Have grilled chicken breast, lean roast beef, and lean ham on sub sandwiches
  • Have a garden salad with minimal dressing
  • Have a baked potato without butter, sour cream, or cheese
  • Have a small hamburger without cheese, bacon, or mayonnaise
  • Avoid deep-fried, breaded, and batter-dipped foods

Keep in mind:

  • One pound equals approximately 3,500 calories
  • If you cut 500 calories a day from your diet you will lose approximately one pound per week
  • A simple way to determine the number of calories you need to eat per day to lose weight is to take your current bodyweight times 10 (e.g. 150 X 10 = 1,500 calories)
  • A simple way to determine the number of calories you need to eat per day to maintain weight is to take your current bodyweight times 15 (e.g. 130 X 15 = 1,950 calories)
  • A calorie-counting book and a food scale may be helpful; read nutrition labels
  • Try to avoid empty calories like you find in soda pop and candy
  • Keep your pre-competition meal light and carbohydrate based

I don’t recommend cutting weight or starving. You need food to fuel your body. In addition, drink plenty of fluids so that do not become dehydrated. If you choose to lose weight, do it slowly and carefully. You don’t want to lose muscle tissue and strength. In addition, you need energy for hard practices.

If you are Vegetarian or Vegan:

Strength coach Mike Mahler is a vegan (i.e. eats no animal products whatsoever) and yet he is big and strong. Some staples in his diet include nuts, seeds, peanut butter, almond butter, beans, lentils, vegetables, coconut milk, healthy fats like olive oil, and rice protein powder.

Pre-Competition Meal:

As far as your pre-competition meal goes, keep it familiar. That is not a time to try new foods. Keep it light and carbohydrate based so you have energy. A heavier meal with more fat will be slower to digest. On the other hand, your pre-competition meal should be something that you enjoy. I think I read somewhere that boxer Sugar Ray Leonard liked to have a cheeseburger before a big fight. I wouldn’t recommend that, but it seemed to work fine for him. Olympic champion speed skater Bonnie Blair’s pre-race meal was always a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I had a friend in high school that had one of his highest scoring basketball games after a meal of several bowls of chili. Personally, I always liked to have pancakes before a competition. For some people that would probably sit too heavy in their stomach. I liked to have jelly sandwiches and Pop-Tarts at wrestling tournaments if I needed something between matches. Find what works for you.

Supplements to Consider:

  • Multivitamin – to cover anything you might miss in your diet
  • Meal Replacement Products (MRPs) – shakes like Myoplex and Met-Rx provide protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals if you don’t have time to eat a meal
  • Whey protein – whey protein is absorbed quickly by the body and is ideal for a post workout shake
  • Glutamine – may help you maintain muscle if dieting; improves immune function
  • Creatine monohydrate – supplies energy to your muscles; make sure you stay hydrated if you use this supplement
  • Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) – may help with recovery and repair
  • Inosine – may give you greater endurance by supporting the regeneration of ATP
  • HMB – may help slow the breakdown of muscle tissue (i.e. anti-catabolic)
  • Beta-alanine – may help improve your work capacity via it’s ability to buffer lactic acid
  • Caffeine – can increase energy and alertness

You probably don’t need to supplement at all. Eat a healthy diet with a variety of foods and stay hydrated. That will do more for you than any supplement ever can. In addition, supplements can be costly. Moreover, some supplements work for one wrestler and not for another. Therefore, if you choose to use supplements be cautious and be careful. Do some research about the potential benefits and dangers of any supplement before using it.

I am not a nutritionist or dietitian. I am not an expert on dietary supplements. Read articles and books pertaining to nutrition and supplements. I have simply provided a rough guide to help you get started. Remember that you need fuel for your body to function well. That fuel is food. Therefore, make sure that make smart dietary choices on your path to wrestling success.

Many people don’t associate fertility and healthy diet with each other, but they go hand-in-hand. Your reproductive system is affected by what you eat. Everything you eat eventually enters your blood stream and travels throughout your body. If you put processed foods or unhealthy foods into your body, it affects your digestive system, nervous system, immune system and reproductive system. For increased fertility and reproductive health, you’ll need to make a few lifestyle changes that involve eating a healthy diet.

Incorporate the following foods in your diet that are good for your reproductive system.

  • Green leafy vegetables are high in folic acid. Include Brussel sprouts and asparagus as part of your daily intake. Folic acid reduces the risk of ovulation issues.
  • Fruit are high in vitamins and have numerous nutritional benefits. Oranges and strawberries contain vitamin C which strengthens the immune system and improve sperm quality. Bananas contain vitamin B6 which regulates the hormones for egg and sperm development. Apples are high fibre and low in calories.
  • Cereals that are high in fibre are also good for your reproductive system. It helps to control sugar levels and protect heart health.
  • Almonds contain vitamin E which is an antioxidant and helps to protect the DNA in the sperm and eggs.
  • Chicken is an important source of protein that is great for egg production.
  • Dark chocolate contains amino acid which can double the sperm volume.
  • Garlic improves the blood flow to the man’s sexual organs and it protects the sperm from damage.
  • Tomatoes boost the sperm count by up to 70% and can increase their swimming speed.
  • Sunflower seeds and oysters each contain zinc. Zinc is crucial for conception and is an important mineral for male and female fertility.
  • Carrots also increase your chances of conception because it is filled with carotenoids.

It is important to note that you’ll need to make a lot of changes to your diet if you are one who usually eats junk food or take-away meals. Smoking, alcohol and medication can all have a negative impact on your fertility. So you will need to cut down on these too. Good nutrition which is largely based on natural foods is essential for a healthy body and a productive reproductive system. A fertility doctor will advise you that a fertility treatment can be a challenging phase and it is always best to have a healthy lifestyle. Always consult a doctor when making lifestyle changes to your health.

Yo!;)

A lot of you have read my interview with Hit from the calisthenics kingz. In that interview he mentions that he doesn’t train with weights. Hit is built like a tank and is amazingly strong too. So now you realise you can get an effective workout if you’re on the road and have no access to weights, or if you just don’t want to use weights, or if you just want to learn some of those extreme body weight exercises. This article explains exactly how to do it. In simple terms. There’s a workout plan as well so you can get started on getting strong without iron.

Why don’t I need weights to get bigger or get strong?

The reason is simply this: You need resistance, not weights. Adding weights is a great way to increase resistance and therefore the difficulty of an exercise so there’s nothing wrong with just using weights, but it’s not the only way. Maybe you’ve been doing hundreds of push-ups and hundreds of crunches but don’t feel like you’re achieving the strength or the body you want. When you lift weights you typically do 1-5 reps for pure strength development and 6-12 if you want to increase mass as well. So why would it be any different when you’re not using weights? If you want to focus on endurance rather than strength or hypertrophy then it’s fine, but if not you need to drop the reps. There are countless people who’s goal is to either get stronger, get bigger or both, but they still do hundreds of reps with bodyweight exercises. You don’t see them do hundreds of reps when bench pressing but they like to do hundreds of push-ups and crunches.

So what do you do if you can do hundreds of push-ups? Do you stop when you get to five? That wouldn’t be much use either. So you increase the resistance just like you would with weights.

You might have to be a bit more creative but it can be done, and here’s how.

How to add resistance to body weight exercises

There are a number of ways to do this, and here are some of them.

Partial range of movement-Let’s say you want to do a one leg squat but you can’t do it all the way to the floor. One option is to do it as far as you can, and then increase the depth as you get stronger. Some people are against this but it worked for Paul Anderson-the legendary weightlifter, power lifter and strongman. I would use a box if you’re doing squats as it can support the knees. As you get stronger use a lower box or maybe a step on a staircase.

Weight distribution between limbs-Let’s say you’re finding the gap between a two arm push-up and a one arm push-up too big. What now? You can use both arms but do the following. One of your palms is flat on the ground, but on the other hand, you’re only using you’re thumb and first finger on the floor. This way there is assistance with one arm but there is more weight on the other arm and it has to do more work. Eventually you can remove the finger and only use the thumb. Then remove the thumb until you’re only using one arm.

Straightening/ bending the joints-See my dragon flag tutorial on my site for an example of this. When I have my knees bent, the exercise is much easier, but if I keep my body completely straight, it’s much more difficult.

Elevating the feet/hands-Take a normal push-up. If you elevate your feet by putting them on a box you make the push-up harder, and if you elevate your hands but keep your feet on the ground you make it easier.

So as you can see, there are many different ways to add resistance to any exercise, just like adding plates to a barbell. There is no limit to the number of increments you can have either. For example, you can elevate your feet by 30cm, 32cm, 31.4cm etc (obviously it would be stupid to be so exact but you get the point I’m trying to make), so even though gaps do exist between different variations of an exercise, you can bridge the gap as slowly or quickly as you need to. Don’t worry about being exact. Just get a feel for the difficulty level.

Now you’ve got an idea of how to add resistance to body weight exercises, here is the workout plan. It has three exercises, of which you will use different variations as you progress, but you can add other exercises or switch one for another. More on that later. These are compound or multi-joint movements that teach your body how to work as a unit. There’s an upper body pressing movement, an upper body pulling movement, and a leg movement, so it’s balanced, and it doesn’t take up much time. Here are the exercises.

Push-up variation-This will train the chest, triceps, shoulders and core. It’s your pressing movement

Pull-up variation-Trains mainly the lats but also other assisting muscles in the shoulders, back and arms. It’s your pulling movement

Squat variation-So you don’t neglect your legs-Trains mainly the thighs and buttocks.

Okay so here are the different variations you can use. Going down the list, the exercises get more difficult. I’ve also written what I think would be a good method of adding resistance to that specific variation. See how far down the list you can go. These lists don’t contain all of the different variations, there are a lot more, but you don’t need all of them. Let’s start with push-ups.

Push-up variations

Wall push-ups-Some people are too weak to do even knee push-ups so they can start off on a wall. It’s the same thing, but instead of pushing yourself away from the floor you push yourself away from a wall. The wall is obviously 90 degrees from the floor and if you reduce this angle it makes it more difficult. Maybe you could find a slope at roughly 45 degrees for example.

Knee push-ups-Most people are strong enough to do knee push-ups so this can be a good starting point for someone who can’t do full push-ups yet.

Full push-ups-There are different versions of this. The main ones are arms out-where your elbows go outwards during the movement and elbows in, where they stay close to the body and point backwards and work the triceps more. To make this exercise more difficult you can elevate your feet and put them on a box. On the other hand, the gap between knee push-ups and regular push-ups might be too large for some. In that case you can make the exercise easier by putting your hands on a box while leaving your feet on the floor instead.

One arm push-ups-Again there are different variations of this exercise but the same rules apply. Elevate your arms to make it easier and elevate your feet to make it harder. You can also do negatives (just the lowering part) if you want, until you’re strong enough to also lift yourself up.

Psuedo planche/hip push-ups-Well actually these could maybe go before one arm push-ups on the list but I’ve put them here because they might be something you use to work up to planche push-ups which are extremely advanced. Hip push-ups are like push-ups but your hands are placed by your hips instead of your chest. They can be tough on the wrists for some people so you can do them on fists or use paralletes. Elevating the feet for this exercise does not make it more difficult. Try it and you’ll see.

Another thing you can do to work up to the planche push-up is to practice static holds with the planche progressions, as well as practice push-ups in the tuck planche positions.

Pull-up variations

Negatives-A lot of people can’t do pull-ups so what you can do is to just do the lowering part of the exercise at first. Get on a chair to get yourself high enough so that your chin is over the bar. Then push the chair away from you and lower yourself from the bar in a slow and controlled manner until you’re hanging from the bar with your arms locked out. You might have to bend your knees if the bar isn’t high enough. Also, you might want to have a spotter the first time you try this, or until you’re confident of being able to do negatives with no problems.

Pull-ups-Once you can do negatives easily-say 2 sets of 5 reps you can try a full pull-up. You can have a partner help you as you pull yourself up if you need to in the beginning. You probably won’t need one though if you’ve been training negatives and are good enough at them. A tip-when you reach the bottom, lock out your arms completely and dead hang. It’s harder to do this than to cheat a little and start pulling yourself up before you’ve reached the bottom but it will help you in the long run.

Assisted one arm pull-ups-These are a lot harder than normal pull-ups and a great way to increase the difficulty of the exercise and train for one-armers. The way to do these is to hold the horizontal bar (pull-up bar) with one hand and have the other hand holding a vertical object. This can be the vertical support bars at the sides holding the pull-up bar in place or you can throw a rope over the pull-up bar and hold onto that. So now the side that’s holding onto the pull-up bar has to do a lot more work. The way to increase the difficulty with this variation is to hold the rope lower down. You will start out high, holding the rope/vertical bar only slightly lower than where you hold the pull-up bar and as you become stronger you will move lower down until eventually you’ll reach around hip level. After this, you can begin to loosen the grip you have with that hand (you’re still gripping the pull-up bar tightly though).

One-arm-pull-up negatives-So the next stage is to move onto slow, controlled negatives with only one arm. Pull yourself up with both arms and then lower yourself with only one arm. When you first start it might be a good idea to loosely hold onto your bicep or shoulder with the free arm just in case you over-estimate your strength and injure yourself while crashing down. Once you know for sure you can control the descent you can let go completely.

One-arm-pull-ups-Reach this stage and you’ve attained a very, very difficult skill to attain. Congratulations!

Squat variations

Body weight squats-Most people should be able to do body weight squats easily. Read my article on squats for some advice on technique. It’s on my site. Again, if you’re not strong enough you can do partial range like Paul Anderson did and increase the depth as you get stronger.

One leg squats-From my experience the best way to learn this is to just do partial range and increase the depth slowly. Use a box or something though, or it could put a lot of stress on the knees. Maybe you could lift yourself with only one leg every time you get up from a chair. Gradually increase the depth by using a lower box/chair/step/whatever you want, until you can go all the way to the floor. In the beginning when you reach the floor you can roll back so your back touches the floor and then push yourself forward and spring up using the momentum to lift yourself up. This could mess up your form though if you’re not careful (which could mess up your knees) so be careful with this one. Eventually you won’t need any momentum. Once you can do the exercise easily, you can grab some weights, which kind of defeats the object of this guide but whatever. I guess you could grab some big water bottles or something if you don’t have weights. Maybe adding more water to the bottles could be a way of adding weight…. Anyway you could also add a jumping movement to the squat as you lift yourself up and explode through the movement rather than lifting yourself slowly.

The training programme variables

So here is what the training programme variables look like.

Days of rest for each exercise-You can train each exercise 5 days a week or even as infrequently as every 5 days. You’ve got two options. The option you choose will affect the number of sets you do, which I’ll get onto later. Option B is recommended for those also wanting to gain some mass along with strength. If you’re only bothered about strength and like to train each exercise very frequently you could pick option A.

Option A-train each exercise 3-5 days a week

Option B-Train each exercise 1-2 days a week with at least 3 days rest in between each training day. You could do all three exercises on one day but you don’t have to. You can split it if you want to.

Reps-3-5-I want you to keep it down to 3-5 reps while using heavy resistance. This is the ideal range for building strength. If you’re after some mass as well, you can still get bigger while using low reps and heavy weight. You could increase the reps if you want to but I’d rather you not compromise strength, so an alternative is to make sure you ALWAYS do 5 reps instead of doing 3-5. You might have to use a slightly easier exercise variation in this case.

Sets-if you picked option A, you do no more than 2 sets in a session. If you picked option B, you can do 3-5 sets.

Minutes rest in between sets-3-5 minutes. If you want to increase mass as well as strength, then some fatigue may help you achieve that. You could decrease rest periods to 1-2 minutes, but again I’d rather you didn’t compromise strength, so what you could do instead is to make sure you ALWAYS take 3 minutes rest in between sets and not any more. On the other hand, those who are only interested in strength could take 3-5 minutes rest between sets.

Not training till failure-Don’t train till failure. You don’t want to burn out your central nervous system and compromise strength gains. If you picked option B as your training plan, you can go very close to failure. If you picked option A, I want you to stay slightly further away from failure because you’re going to be training more frequently and need to stay fresh. Make sure you could have done at least one more rep. So if you completed 3 reps and felt like you could do another 1 or 2, don’t do them. Whereas with option B you could carry on and do those 1 or 2 reps (but only if you were 100% sure you could do the reps. Don’t carry on until you attempt a rep and fail to do it).

Exercise variation-Choose a variation that you can do at least 4 reps with but no more than about 8. For example, if you can do 10 normal push-ups, try elevating your feet and then see how many you can do. If you can only do 3, try elevating your feet a little less this time and see how many you can do. Let’s say you can do 7. That’s a good variation to use for the duration of the training cycle.

The training cycle

Okay this part might seem a little complicated but it’s important. If you don’t follow a cycle you’ll probably hit a plateau and stop improving so learn it well.

There are many different cycles you could use but to keep things simple let’s go with a steady cycle that lasts 8-16 workouts. With this cycle you use the same exercise variation until you’re ready to peak in 8-16 workouts. For example, lets say you find out that you can do 6 reps with a one-arm-push-up. You start a training cycle with the one-arm-push-up and after 5 workouts the exercise feels a lot easier and you feel like you could do 8 or more reps. You still carry on doing only 3-5reps and keep doing the same exercise.

After 8 workouts the exercise feels so easy that you feel you are ready to move onto a harder variation. What you can do is reduce the volume for a week (so lets say you train 3 days a week and do 2 sets in each workout. During that week reduce your workout frequency to only 1 or 2 days a week and do only 1 set per workout. However, you’re either going to do more reps (if you usually did 3 or 4 then do 5) or if you already did 5 then switch to a harder variation of the one-arm-push-up (maybe elevate your feet) and do 3 reps.

After this reduced volume week, you’re going to go back to your normal frequency of training (in this example, 3 days a week) but you’re still doing a reduced number of sets (1 set in this example). Now you’re ready for the final part of your cycle. You were doing 3 reps of one-arm-push-ups with your feet elevated. Attempt to do 5 reps with this same variation. If you succeed, wait until your next workout and choose an even more difficult variation (maybe elevate your feet even higher) and see if you can do 5 reps. If you succeed move onto an even harder variation in the following workout until you reach a variation where you fail before reaching three reps. Then after that you could go back to the last variation that you succeeded doing 5 reps with, and attempt to go beyond 5 reps. Take a few days off at the end of the cycle. At the start of a new cycle you begin with a slightly harder variation than in your last cycle. In our example we started the last cycle with one-arm-push-ups. For the next cycle we could maybe start with one-arm-push-ups with legs elevated slightly. You get the idea……I hope.

Adding exercises and final advice

This is just a guide. Don’t worry about following it exactly to the letter. You can make adjustments, add your own exercises to it, experiment with different training programs/cycles etc. Just make sure you know what you’re doing or you’ll be wasting a lot of precious time. I think pull-ups and squats are a must. You could replace the horizontal push-up with handstand push-ups but I’ve kept it simple here.

You can’t really go wrong if you just stick to this guide and train consistently, while resting when you need to, getting good nutrition, enough sleep etc.

Don’t expect to progress from pull-ups to one-arm-pull-ups and from wall push-ups to planche-push-ups without any hiccups along the way. Your progress will slow down, you might get injured, and sometimes you might start doubting whether you’ll ever get to the most advanced variations. It’ll take you many months, even a few years to get to the most advanced variations of push-ups and pull-ups. Don’t give up. This is what separates those few who make it from everybody else. If it was easy, everyone would be strong as hell and then your achievements wouldn’t be so impressive, so just have fun, aim high and train consistently without giving up. Get in touch and tell me about your progress while following this plan, send me videos when you’re able to do some of the cool feats such as one-arm-pull-ups, send me before and after pictures if it’s changed the way you look.

Later